So, you’ve been vlogging for a while and you’re thinking about mixing up your style. We all want to continue growing and improving our videos, but we don’t want to leave our current audience behind.
In trying to remain authentic to your audience, your brand and yourself, it’s helpful to determine what exactly about your videos resonates with people. As far as what attracts an audience, there are two main categories of vloggers:
Personality-driven vloggers have big on-camera personas and are often silly or dramatic. They bring high energy, unique characters and a focus on entertainment value. This category includes vloggers who make pop culture reactions, comedy sketches and storytime videos. The way these vloggers present their perspectives is what keeps the audience coming back.
Idea-driven vloggers rely on their thoughts and interpretations resonating with viewers. The focus is on the information being presented. This includes vloggers who make cultural analysis, life reflections, educational videos and tutorials. The audience comes back to these vloggers because they are insightful and informative. To learn more about attracting views in this vertical, read our article on A Different Approach to Getting Views for Your Educational YouTube Channel.
The Right Mix
These categories are not mutually exclusive, and many successful vloggers have a bit of both. A strong on-camera presence is helpful for any vlogger. Using humor can be an effective way to get a point across. And choosing relevant topics and titles can help new viewers find your channel before they know your personality.
But many channels lean more towards one category than the other. If you focus on being fun and high-energy, don’t feel like you need to force lessons into your videos. If you focus on being thoughtful and perceptive, you don’t need to be a comedian if that feels inauthentic. Figure out why your audience watches you, and find the best way to serve that need.
Here are a few questions to consider as you’re deciding how to develop your vlogging style:
What makes your audience watch?
This is a time to dig into your YouTube analytics. What types of videos get the most views and comments? Based on click-through-rates, what titles are your audience the most interested in — ones that suggest a personal experience or ones that promise information? Where does the audience retention graph usually drop off within a video, what’s happening at that moment, and is there a stylistic shift that could keep the audience interested? Looking through the data can help you determine what aspect of your content best connects with your audience.
How does your audience appreciate your strengths?
Maybe people are always talking about the hilarious jokes you make in the comments. Or maybe they say your video is the best analysis of the latest blockbuster that they’ve seen. Perhaps when someone shouts you out, they mention how film-like and artistic your videos are, how they always learn something new, or how there’s never a dull moment in your storytelling. For more on storytelling in vlogs, check out this previous article. Notice what adjectives people use to describe your channel and lean into those qualities. You can also ask your audience directly what they like using polling features on YouTube or other social platforms.
What in your videos feels boring?
If you’ve been vlogging for a while, you may have fallen into certain patterns — filming in the same location, reading scripts the same way, or using the same framework for your topics. While consistency helps your audience know what to expect, if you’re getting bored with your content, chances are your audience is getting bored, too. It may be time to spice things up. Try introducing a new segment, new graphics or adjusting your delivery style, and see how your audience responds. Experimenting with your content not only keeps it fresh for your audience but also keeps the vlogging process fun for you. See this article for more tips on how to keep vlogging fun.
What skills do you want to improve?
Is there a new video technique you want to try, or a new sense of humor you want to explore? Experimentation can allow you to build new skills. If there are aspects of your videos that could use some practice, those could be areas for growth. You might decide to learn more about improv or public speaking in order to develop your camera presence. Or maybe you can work on your writing skills in order to make arguments more effectively.
How can you nudge your audience along?
You want your audience to grow with you; you don’t want them to feel like you’re a completely different person from the one they subscribed to. In order to avoid giving your audience whiplash or causing confusion, try gradual changes, rather than a complete channel overhaul. If you introduce your audience to one shift at a time, it’s easier for them to see that the underlying value of your videos remains constant.
Your audience can be an incredible partner in developing your voice and spreading your message. Observing how they respond, what they value and how your interests align with those values can open a path to more dynamic content that fulfills your creative goals and keeps your audience captivated.